Skinwalker Ranch

Transcript – Skinwalker: West vs. Fugal – “It Changed Position In The Blink Of An Eye”

31 May , 2020  

“The big guy, George, that had been there as security, that had been rendered catatonic in the back of that UTV during that earlier experience, the next day, ended up in the hospital and was ill for three weeks.” ~Brandon Fugal

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by Joe Murgia – @ufojoe11 on Twitter.

Noted debunker, Mick West and Skinwalker Ranch owner and Utah-based, commercial real estate mogul, Brandon Fugal, have had some interesting conversations on Twitter the past few weeks regadarding various aspects of The History Channel show, “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch.” Hoping to expand the back and forth to more than 280 characters, West invited the recently outed owner to a long-form discussion and Fugal accepted. The following is a lightly-edited transcript of that lengthy exhange.

A great companion to the West interview is the Coast to Coast AM interview conducted by investigative reporter, George Knapp.

Part 1 – Knapp/Fugal

Part 2 – Knapp/Fugal

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Mick West (MW): Welcome to “Tales from the Rabbit Hole.” I’m your host Mick West. My guest today is Brandon Fugal, a prominent business leader based in Utah and the current owner of the mysterious Skinwalker Ranch, which is the focus of a wide variety of reported strange phenomena. From supernatural visitors to cattle mutilations and UFOs. The ranch is now the subject of a History Channel show, “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch,” the finale for which airs on Tuesday, June 2nd, this coming Tuesday. So Brandon, thank you very much for being here.

Brandon Fugal (FG): It’s a pleasure to be with you. And what a wonderful way to end our week on a beautiful Friday afternoon.

MW: Thank you. It should be an interesting show. I think. Tell me how you first heard about Skinwalker Ranch.

BF: Good question. You know, I first heard about Skinwalker Ranch, oh gosh, I think it was probably, oh, over a decade ago. And I was at Barnes and Noble, of all places, in Salt Lake City, and happened upon a book, “Hunt for the Skinwalker” by Dr. Colm Kelleher and George Knapp, that introduced the entire, you know, history at least up until, you know, 2005, the ranch and the mysterious events surrounding…kind of their investigation. And bought that book. Read it. I thought it was quite interesting. I read quite a bit, so I read several books a week at least. And I thought it was intriguing, mostly because it really involved a piece of property in Utah. And I thought it was an interesting footnote in Utah history. And then I put it up on my shelf and really didn’t think anything more about this ranch until 2015. So I bought the book at Barnes and Noble just like anyone else and was then later introduced to the ranch and Mr. Bigelow in 2015, which ultimately led to my acquisition of the property the first week in April 2016, over four years ago.

MW: So I guess when you first read the book, you were probably somewhat skeptical of the the events that were described within it. Would that be accurate at the time?

BF: Absolutely skeptical. I found the book very entertaining. I thought it was intriguing. I thought it was entertaining. You know, it was a fun read. And I really didn’t look at it as anything more than that. I didn’t really consider the book a scientific work or investigation. I had never met George Knapp or Colm Kelleher or Mr. Bigelow for that matter. And I just found it to be, probably most interesting because of its location but other than that, approached it with a high degree of skepticism. And I have, up until really getting more into our investigation, I had always had more of a healthy but skeptical look at the, not only topics like the ranch, but also the UFO phenomena, ghosts, orbs, you name it. All of the high strangeness that people claim occurs in the world.

MW: What was the the tipping point for you then when you kind of flipped over from being skeptical about all these phenomena to actually thinking that there might be something to them, or at least something to what’s going on in the ranch?

BF: Yeah. Good question. I flew down to Las Vegas in 2015 and spent many hours with Robert Bigelow, the previous owner, at his Bigelow Aerospace compound, which was quite impressive. I not only found him to be a kindred spirit in terms of some of his background in real estate development and whatnot, but I found his interest in some of these more controversial topics quite intriguing. And I was introduced to Colm Kelleher and a few others during that exchange. And, you know, sitting across from them and hearing their very sober accounts and explanation of events and what occurred on the ranch during their, you know, roughly twenty-year ownership and investigation, caused me to pause. These seemed like very credible people, to me, in a lot of respects, and I would say that’s when my interest perked up. I didn’t become a believer, if you will. I still approached the topic with a high degree of skepticism. But I tried to keep an open mind in approaching the property and really carrying forward my own investigation. There really wasn’t much of an information exchange that occurred relative to the acquisition of the property. Mr. Bigelow was very clear about the fact that he was selling the property as is. I think he saw me as not only also a fellow kindred spirit, but a rightful successor to hopefully what he had created. I told him that if I had the opportunity to acquire the property, it would be my intention to bring in my own team of experts, of scientists, in order to document the events and really, the nature of what had been reported there. But to be candid, I fully expected that there was a 95% probability or greater that there was going to be a natural, more prosaic explanation behind what had been reported. And I kind of looked at the ranch and the accounts as being, probably most likely nothing more than an adult, scientific snipe hunt of sorts. Growing up, I was in the Boy Scouts, I was an Eagle Scout and one of the activities that we were involved in, in scouting, it was kind of a rite of passage with the younger scouts, where we would initiate them through convincing them that they were tracking or hunting this elusive creature up in the forest, you know, this snipe. And by the end of the evening, all of the young scouts are absolutely 100% convinced, they are absolutely certain that there is a snipe, that there is truly something that they’re hearing out in the brush, that they’re either hunting or that is hunting them. And again, no offense to any of the people who had worked on the ranch previously at all, but I thought the most likely explanation for a lot of what had been reported was that it was nothing more than the result of groupthink. A lot of front-loaded groupthink and that people had stirred themselves up into believing that they were seeing something unusual that most likely didn’t have anything extraordinary to do with it.

MW: What was your goal then? Did you believe that about the majority of the sightings or just about all of the things that went on? Or did you think there was a fraction of them that had something that was worth investigating?

BF: No, I really kept an open mind. And I didn’t make any assumptions. In fact, I didn’t assume that any of the events were true. I also didn’t go so far as to discredit or say that they weren’t true. I thought, well, what has come before, what has been reported before, most of which had been anecdotal in nature, was not really easily proved. And the only way to get to the bottom of whether there was any reality to what had been claimed was to employ scientific tools and resources in service to really studying the ranch and to really see if there was a phenomena at work.

MW: Yeah, people keep talking about the phenomena. And I think it’s interesting that it’s very difficult to pin down what this phenomena is that you’re studying. Like Bigelow said once that they couldn’t study it scientifically because it never repeated itself. It was always something different. So you couldn’t set up an experiment to do the same thing. And there’s these various different things that happen. Is there a way of characterizing what this phenomena actually is or some characterization of the phenomena, other than just being a really strange place where things happen?

BF: Yeah, good question. You have to have something that is repeatable in order to truly test a hypothesis. As you know, you really have to be able to find repeatable results and to be able to properly characterize it. And you’re right. In approaching the claims associated with the ranch, historically, the nature of what was being claimed was not only elusive but rather ambiguous. And again, I came into this having never seen a UFO, having never claimed to have seen a ghost or an orb or anything of a supernatural nature. And I honestly thought that the likely result would probably be finding some type of natural explanation for what was occurring. And frankly, the first six months, for half a year of owning it, in all of my visits out to the ranch, I didn’t experience or witness anything that I would say was unusual. It just seemed like a very beautiful, scenic backdrop. In fact, it’s right out of a John Wayne, Western movie, or Westworld is probably a more relevant present point of reference. I mean the backdrop of Skinwalker Ranch is very reminiscent of what you’d see in season one or two of Westworld. (There’s a reason for that. ~Joe) And I think that was probably the first surprise that I had upon inspecting the property, was how beautifully striking the landscape was and how diverse. And you have everything from a red rock mesa that spans the entire property, to cave systems. You have a number of old pioneer homesteads that are over 100 years old  that are still standing, barely. You have some interesting waterways that traverse the property. That was something that was completely unexpected. It’s difficult to really picture what the ranch landscape looks like, simply based on the description in George Knapp and Colm Kelleher’s book. And when I came in to inspect the property, the week I closed on it, I flew in via helicopter and I was shocked at how beautiful the place was. I was expecting probably more flat topography or desert-prairie type of landscape. And I was wholly unprepared for the diversity

MW: It is very striking looking. There’s lots of nice drone shots in the TV show and you got the mesa there with all the rocks tumbling down it and giant boulders and then the flatland on the river. It’s very interesting looking. You said for the first six months, you didn’t have any experiences? Have you personally had some kind of supernatural or UFO-type experience since then?

BF: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. What was recorded during the first six months before I really witnessed anything myself personally, was interesting. I mean, one of the first things that I did with the property upon purchasing the ranch was I employed a drone aerial surveyor, that conducted numerous drone surveys of the property and the surrounding area in order to really document every inch of the property. I wanted to start establishing a historical record that would track the landscape, any changes in the landscape, you know, anything that would be interesting, so we would have a baseline to continue measuring against as we really let our investigation unfold. You know, the first several years of my ownership of the property, I probably say the first three years, was really characterized best as an observational, science exercise. It wasn’t a lot of really aggressive experimentation like you see on the television program. A lot of it was really carefully and methodically establishing the surveillance, monitoring and some of the other instrumentation in order to truly document what was happening on the property. But to answer your question…before I had my own experience, we had captured a number of interesting images. And I think you picked out a couple of those images that were seen briefly in Jeremy Corbell’s documentary, “Hunt for the Skinwalker, which was, I don’t know when that was released…two years ago, a year and a half ago.

 

Pic from “Hunt for the Skinwalker” screening in Vegas – 9/8/18

And to be clear, I thought they were very interesting images. I mean, we captured a few daylight images of unidentified flying objects. I thought it was intriguing in that when we checked the flight data, the database history, tracking the commercial and the private air traffic in the basin during the period of time that those images were taken by my drone aerial surveyor, there wasn’t anything recorded. There was no known traffic. And I know very well that there are those that don’t have the appropriate equipment, and you have, from time to time, some some aerial activity that that doesn’t show up on some of the sensors. But I thought it was interesting. I thought, to have multiple events. that were witnessed, that had multiple witnesses with them, of what appeared to be unusual craft on or around the property, or objects, I found to be intriguing. And that’s probably when my interest started perking up. That was in June of 2016. We had a number of events that occurred that were recorded, you know, images captured. And what it did more than anything is it inspired me to improve our systems on the property, our data collection and our camera surveillance system so we can better monitor and record that which was occurring.

MW: And those three photos that you reference there…I looked at those and I noticed that you had the metadata in the corner. They were taken with an iPhone 6 Plus…

BF: Correct.

MW: …which isn’t particularly a good camera for taking photos of planes (Fugal laughs) that are a long way away. So, to me, what you showed in those photos was very consistent with, just, in one case, a black dot, like some kind of fly or a bird. And the other two kind of looked like planes to me. You get the white cigar shape, which is typical of a plane seen at some distance. And then there’s another one that looks like a plane higher up, like something with a coloration, like different livery with red wings or a red body. To me, they didn’t look too inconsistent with planes. And you talked about the ADSB data, which is the flight tracking data, there aren’t really any receivers in that area. You quite often see dropouts in that area because there’s very few…it’s not very, very populated. I believe you have your own receiver on the ranch but I don’t know if that was operating at that time.

BF: Yeah, what you do see reliably is you do see the air traffic that surrounds the base and then you can fairly reliably track conventional aircraft that are coming in and out. I will say the image that you’re referencing relative to the black dot that was kind of over the shoulder of a gentleman, that was not taken with an iPhone 6S. That was actually taken by another individual. It was actually taken by a visitor to the ranch on, I think it was October 16th, 2016. And it was a Nikon. It’s actually a high-quality, Nikon camera that captured a number of really interesting images. And it was a Nikon D 5000 camera, whatever that is. So, for what it’s worth, we have a number of images that were captured in June, that were really randomly. I mean, there was no expectation that they were going to go out and capture photographic images of UFOs. It’s just happened randomly. And those were the daylight images that you see depicted. One was over the mesa. We refer to it playfully as the Millennium Falcon image because it kind of looks like a Millennium Falcon from Star Wars,

MW: Because it’s like a white line, viewed from the side?

BF: Yeah, it’s it’s a little bit similar to the Tic Tac video. That was taken the first part of June and then the other image that that same individual took on his iPhone that you see the metadata displayed for, was actually above the homestead one or above the main pasture, right outside of the homestead. And it was an interesting object that was glowing, that actually appeared right above the pasture and just stood there. It was just stationary. And then it zipped off. And while it was sitting there for probably, I don’t know, a minute or two, without moving, he was able to capture that image on his iPhone and then whatever it was, quickly departed. But it definitely wasn’t an airplane because it just sat there stationary. If there was a conventional explanation for it, it would be a drone, for example, but it didn’t seem to operate like any drone that at least we’re familiar with or could actually match up with that. imagery.

MW: Yeah, it’s a shame he didn’t take video of it, which would have been…because still photos have big problems because it’s very difficult to get a sense of how fast things are moving or if they’re moving at a constant rate. Judging distance is very hard as well. You described one as being over the mesa and it looks like this white thing that’s over the mesa. But if it was over the mesa, it would essentially be like an aluminum rod or something. because it’s not very far to the mesa from that spot. Like about half a mile or so?

BF: Oh, correct. No, it’s quite off in the distance. I mean, but visually, the object obviously wasn’t stationary, literally above the mesa. It was literally looking to the north of homestead one or the main ranch house, over the mesa, out into the distance. So it was probably more clearly oriented somewhere around Bottle Hollow, or up in that vicinity. I mean, without without other angles to allow for better spatial awareness, it’s impossible to be able to identify the exact size and scale and location.

MW: Yeah, I think without knowing any context of it, at least just looking at that, you know I do a lot of plane analyzing data from that type of thing and it could well be a plane at high altitude, at 30,000 feet, that’s about twenty miles away. I think a lot of people don’t realize how far away planes are when you’re looking over there, rather than over forty-five degrees. It’s a fairly low angle, essentially, when you’re just looking up over the mesa.

BF: It appeared to be close, right, I guess, you know, what I found most intriguing was the fact that there wasn’t any flight data showing anything coming or going, from the vicinity or the basin in that area, that would align with that photo image. I had the same suspicion when my drone surveyor brought me the image. In fact he called and said I got this image on my iPhone. I want to show it to you. And I said, “I want you to stop everything. Drop everything. I want you to drive straight from the ranch, drive two and a half hours to my office and I want you to plug your phone right into my graphics director’s computer. Because I don’t want anyone else touching your phone if there’s something legitimate that you believe you’ve captured. If there’s something truly anomalous, I don’t want anything compromising either the metadata or the integrity of that image.” And so when he brought it to me, it was interesting following kind of the the initial analysis of the photo. I mean, the first place we turned was really the flight data. And that’s when I scratched my head. That’s when I thought, you know, that’s interesting that we couldn’t line it up with anything conventional.

MW: I totally believe that’s what happened. But I’ve had a lot of experience of people saying that they couldn’t line things up with the flight data when, you know…I do a lot of the chemtrails conspiracy theory is one of the things that I look into a lot. And so a lot of people say, “I saw this plane spraying and I couldn’t find it on the on flight router twenty-four.” And then they send me a photo and then I look at the data and I see it’s actually a bit further away or a bit to the left or something like that. So it’s…unless you’ve had a lot of experience looking at photos and flight radar it is possible that you can actually misidentify. And of course, it could be possible that it wasn’t wasn’t on the radar. And it could, of course, be possible that it was some kind of weird, unusual flying object or a drone or something, it’s hard to say.

BF: It’s obviously not conclusive. I mean, I’ve been very careful not to claim that it’s an alien craft or anything of that nature. Only that we find that the circumstances surrounding the photography, that image and the lack of evidence of anything conventional, I think bears some further investigation. And at the very least, what it did is it inspired me to try to carefully improve our data logging and surveillance efforts out at the ranch. I mean, it has been a process, not an event. You know, we see that evidence with the television program as well. We’re learning a lot and we’re making incremental improvements.

MW: So you said these three images and other things around like 2016, were kind of what triggered your interest and your feeling that there was something really worth investigating or, you know, accelerated that process. Have you personally seen anything with your own eyes, that is unusual? Can you talk about that?

BF: Yeah, in fact, we had a circumstance in October of 2016, where we were entertaining some prominent visitors that flew in for the day. In fact, the senior member of that group had wanted to visit the ranch for many years, had apparently approached the Bigelow people in order to get permission and was not granted access. And when he reached out to me through some science advisors, I was open and I said, “Look, as long as you sign a liability waiver and a confidentiality agreement, I don’t have any problem hosting you and your team for the day.” And so we welcomed them out to the ranch. I had already owned the property for six months, and had been visiting the property every month in order to kind of address what needed to be done in order to improve the facilities there, and also really wrap my mind around what the investigation needed to look like, moving forward. Well, we ended up going out to the property with this group and it seemed almost immediately upon our arrival, we had some frustrating things occur. We had some cell phone anomalies. You know, my principal investigator that you see on the show, was very surprised to see that his iPhone started malfunctioning for no apparent reason, right up on the mesa. In fact, it started wigging out and turning a magenta color. And he was pretty surprised, he was alarmed by what he was seeing and called me up to the mesa. I quickly hiked up the face of it and by the time I got up there, the phone wasn’t malfunctioning, And I just chuckled. I said that, “Ah, that’s funny.” And he scratched his head as well. He says, “You know, I wish you could have seen this.”

And so we proceeded and ended up taking this group out to the old homestead area…homestead two. And as we piled out of the UTV and the other vehicles that were transporting these visitors, and we made our way around to the front of the old homesteads there, the group collectively started exclaiming that they were feeling some vertigo. In fact, I was probably about, I don’t know, thirty, forty feet away from the main group that had assembled right in front of those old homesteads. And I heard them all say, “Wow, are you feeling what I’m feeling?” And, you know, they were all expressing some concern that they felt some vertigo. And so I quickly run over to the group and I don’t feel anything. But, Erik Bard, who’s sitting there with that same smartphone that had apparently been experiencing some difficulty earlier, he says, “Look at my phone, look at what is happening.” And sure enough, right there, the phone was turning magenta, was malfunctioning, and he was able to screen capture the change in the phone. which was great.

MW: Really?

BF: He had enough presence of mind. And that’s one of the problems, as you’ve seen, in addressing these topics from a skeptical point of view over the years, people don’t have the presence of mind when they’re in the moment to really properly document or record what they’re witnessing. And he did, he actually ended up doing a screen capture. We thought that was intriguing. And as we were  all sitting there, kind of comparing notes, and everyone was saying, gosh, that was that was a funny sensation that was felt for a number of…it was probably about, I don’t know, ten, twenty seconds that the group was experiencing that collectively. And this is a diverse group. These aren’t friends. These aren’t people that had met previously. We brought together a diversity of participants for that day.

And so it was interesting to see all of these people from different backgrounds experiencing this. And then, while we’re standing there, I noticed that the main security…the gentleman who had accompanied our principal guest for the day, that had introduced himself as private security for this gentleman, was absent. And I thought, where’s George? You know, his name is George. I said, “Where is George at? Has anyone seen George?” And by this time, about ten minutes had lapsed, as we had been comparing notes. And I walked around the back end of the homestead to try to see where this gentleman was. And as I was walking around to the back of the old homesteads, it was like I entered an anechoic chamber, a soundproof room. And there was an auditory sensation. It was almost like my ears were boxed. And all of the ambient noise, to a degree, was completely muted. And right there in the distance where we had parked the Ranger, the Polaris Ranger, UTV, standing upright, in the back of the Ranger, was this huge, about six foot five (6′ 5″), built like a tank, gentlemen. And, so I continue to walk towards the UTV, having this sensation and as I made my way and grew closer, the ambient noise came back and was restored, which I thought was interesting. And I yelled to him and I said, “George!” And it was clear that his eyes were closed. He was standing fully upright in the back of this UTV. And by the time I got up there, his eyes fluttered open. I said, “What are you doing? Is something wrong?” And he looked down at me and he says, “Well, that was strange.” And I said, “So what’s happening? And he said, “Well, as soon as all of you piled out of the UTV to make your way around to the front of the homestead, I was paralyzed, and blacked out.” And he says, “How long have I been back here?” And I said, “Well, it’s probably been about ten minutes.” And he just shook his head and he said, “That was the strangest thing. I don’t know what happened.” I said, “Have you ever had this occur in your life? Have you ever had something like this happen?” He said, “No.”

He was pretty stoic, very serious, sober man. It was interesting, that morning when I first met him, I kind of chuckled and was joking about all of the UFO claims and the high strangeness and everything surrounding the property when we were getting them to sign the confidentiality and the liability waivers. And I asked them point blank, so do you believe in UFOs? Do you believe in the phenomenon? This gentleman in particular said, “Absolutely not. I’m just here as security to accompany my friend for the day’s events.” And he was very sober, very serious in his statement that he didn’t believe it. But anyways, I found that interesting. And about that time, as he got out and we walked around the front, I looked down. I wanted to take some group photos of everyone. And lo and behold, my phone was dead. It was completely dead. The battery had been completely drained. It was interesting. I’ll tell you, we got out there and I had at least 80% charge on my iPhone and it was very frustrating, simply because that’s what we’ve come to rely on for our cameras to record momentous occasions and whatnot. And as I walked around the front, I said, “Geez, my phone’s gone dead. It’s completely drained.” Well guess what? The other’s phones were drained as well.

And so I said, “Well, we have phone chargers back at the command center, back at the security trailer. Why don’t we all hop back in and we’ll take our phones back. I need to have access to my text messaging, to my email, because this is in the middle of the day, middle of the week and I stay connected 24/7 to my office, to my to my business. I can’t just not have connectivity.” And so we ended up taking the phones back, plugging them in and decided to go back out to not only the homesteads but also to look at what I call the observation towers or what is infamously referred to as the bait pens. I’m learning quickly not to refer to them as the bait pens, which was a carryover from the Bigelow era. That’s that’s really what they were referred to. And that reference, of course, unfortunately carried on through the last several years as we have managed the property. But I’m getting to the punch line here. I’m getting to the event. As we went back out, and we looked at the Observation Towers, which are pretty ominous, you see them on the show quite a bit.

MW: They look like guard towers…

(Bait pen/guard tower and other pics of the ranch can be seen in this excellent Vice article by MJ Banias ~Joe)

BF: Exactly. They’re all enclosed with barbed wire fence and they had their purpose back during the Bigelow investigation and ownership. It was interesting, as we were making our way, later in the afternoon back from the old homesteads toward the security trailer, to retrieve our devices to get our phones back, all of a sudden, behind me, in this open air, Polaris Ranger, one of the individuals shouted and said, “Hey, stop the vehicle.” And I was driving. And so I tried to bring it to a to a stop. And I said, “What’s going on?” And I look over my shoulder at him and he’s pointing up toward the mesa, which is on the left. It’s to my left or basically the north side of the property. He says, “Look at that, what is that?” And lo and behold, right above the mesa was a silver grayish disc-like object. And it was just sitting there stationary.

And what was interesting, there were a number of hawks that had been flying, that we’d been observing in the day and they were still, there were some birds flying around. But right beyond the hawks, above the mesa. was this, this object that was probably, I mean, just trying to spatially identify how big it was, it was probably forty to fifty feet long. And the three of us that were pointing up at it said, “What is that?” And then, all of a sudden, within about three to four seconds, it changed position. And it didn’t float, it didn’t move, in  a conventional way, it literally changed position, roughly fifty feet, in the blink of an eye. Almost like a video game. And it shifted position to the north or to the left, by fifty feet. And we all exclaimed. We were like, “Wow! How did it just do that? And then, about three, four seconds later, it dropped to a position, kind of a hover position right above the mesa. It dropped about fifty feet. Again, instantaneously. A few seconds later, it shifted again to the right. And then, in the blink of an eye, it was gone. It literally…it was almost like it was reduced to a dot and was gone.

The entire event that was witnessed by the three of us was about a twenty second event. I was very frustrated because, again, our phones had been dead. And it all happened so quickly. But it left us all very surprised. And, you know, it was so big. This was not just some dot in the sky or some silver, white, orb-like looking object. It was literally a silverish-gray disc, in the fashion of what people have described for decades as being kind of your traditional flying saucer-type of object.

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Joe here and I’m going to speculate a bit…

It’s almost as if the phenomenon wants to be seen but doesn’t want to provide conclusive evidence of its existence. So it kills phone batteries and then shows up. To me, Dr. Salisbury’s theory fits this incident.

“My long-held, totally unscientific gut feeling is that the intelligence behind the UFO enigma is on display; it wants to be seen by many people – who will only be believed by a few others. It wants to influence the thinking of many of us, but it wants no formal contacts nor tangible proof that would convince the skeptics. And its intelligence is great enough that it can control the situation so that we know only what it wants us to know.”

~Dr. Frank Salisbury, “The Utah UFO Display.”

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BF: And to this day, one thing that happened, following that event when we all went back and we concluded our day and everyone departed, my principal investigator, Erik Bard, who, by the way, very skeptical. He entered this with the same, really, mindset that I had, which was that there was really a natural explanation for all of what had been recorded or at least claimed to have occurred on the ranch. Well, Erik quickly, after that day, ended up separately interviewing the other two gentlemen and myself in order to independently take down their account of the incident in order to see if there were some consistencies or inconsistencies. And I think he was very surprised in that our accounts were virtually identical. We all viewed the same event. We all essentially had the same experience.

And most interesting, the big guy, George, that had been there as security, that had been rendered catatonic in the back of that UTV during that earlier experience, the next day, ended up in the hospital and was ill for three weeks. Ended up reporting that for three weeks, he was very, very sick and the doctors apparently couldn’t diagnose what he was sick with. It was flu-like. It was almost a flu-like illness that rendered him, really kind of flat on his back. He was bedridden for a number of weeks. And this guy’s gotta be one of the biggest, most strong people that I’ve ever encountered in my life. And so, I hope you don’t mind the the lengthy account that I just shared.

MW: No. More details.

BF: That day changed my perspective

MW: Right. Yeah.

BF: Did I suddenly believe in aliens visiting from Mars or outer space? No. But did I have a more open mind? You know, you can’t unsee something like that. And I think what it did is it inspired me to use a bit more diligence and to hopefully invest the resources needed in order to fully understand what was happening on and around that property. To this day, it remains interesting.

MW: That was the day, I guess, that your…yeah.

BF: Yeah.

MW: So you all saw this silver disc-type thing, like over the mesa, just to the north. Did you, afterwards when you give your accounts, did you draw diagrams of what it looked like and where it was spatially and the size and things like that?

BF: Uh huh. Yeah. You bet.

MW: About like the motion path, perhaps.

BF: In fact, I immediately went home and I tried to Photoshop, kind of a diagram.

MW: Right. That’s good. That’s very good.

BF: Erik Bard. He not only wanted me to put it in writing, he wanted me to carefully document my testimony of what had happened, but he wanted me to visually provide him with a reference or a diagram. And so we identified a photo image that had been taken earlier of, really that portion of the mesa and roughly within a pretty reliable distance. I mean, probably within, I don’t know, a hundred feet of where we were parked and witnessed that incident. We kind of identified a comparable image that we could use as a reference point, and use that as kind of an illustrative example of what happened that day.

MW: That’s good. That’s the way to do it.

BF: Yeah, so very interesting.

MW: So obviously you have lots of cameras on the ground now. And you’ve had these cameras set up for quite a while. Have they captured anything of that magnitude of interest?

BF: Yes. We’ve had a few. We’ve had actually a handful of other incidents that have been recorded. In fact, both daytime and nighttime. We’ve had a number of, I guess what you’d call UFO sightings at night over the ranch, that we have not been able to assign a conventional explanation to. We’re still analyzing some of that.

MW: You mean lights in the sky type thing at night? You don’t generally see details of things.

BF: Yeah, lights in the sky. And we kind of alluded to this in the first episode of the television program, you know, luminous phenomena on the mesa that has been recorded and witnessed by people. I mean, we’ve had numerous witnesses, coupled with the video imagery, you know, we’ve had night vision footage that has captured some of this, what appears to be anomalous activity. And along with that, we’ve seen lights in the sky that have been very interesting in the way that they’ve behaved. Some of the behavior is not conventional UFO behavior. It’s not like a spaceship or some object just hovering. It’s, you know, we have one video where where we captured an object that is moving so erratically. And I think it was during December, a couple of years ago, right before Christmas, I think it was December 23rd. And the object was moving so erratically, in so many different ways, that it was quite unusual. And coupled with that imagery, we saw a reaction on the mesa. We saw luminous phenomena that seemed to correlate with the unidentified flying object, or whatever you’d call it or characterize it as.

You know, one thing I continue to be reminded of on a week to week basis, in fact, I’ve heard this mantra probably now a thousand times during my ownership of the ranch. And that has come from Erik Bard, who continues to say, “Brandon, correlation is not causation.

MW: He he he. (Laughs)

BF: I mean, I don’t think there’s been a week that has gone by, in the last four years, since bringing him on board and acquiring the property and really launching our investigation, that I have not been reminded of that. That just because you’re seeing events that defy explanation or seem to be unusual, it doesn’t mean that the correlation of certain events, points to some type of unusual cause. You have to have other data to support your claim.

MW: So all this footage you’ve got, you’ve got a variety of ones that are interesting and you’ve got some where you’ve got like a possible correlation between things. You’ve obviously got all this on, like a bunch of hard drives somewhere. Why don’t you release all of this footage and let people have a look at it?

BF: Ah, we’re going to. You know, part of it is, to be candid, time. This is such a small part of my life. I work eighteen to twenty hours a day. I represent several hundred, prominent commercial real estate projects, buildings. You know, right now, I have, gosh, well over a million, probably about 1.4 million square feet of office developments under construction right now that I have responsibility for. And that has been the case, you know, for the last 20 years of my career.

MW: Couldn’t you just tell one of your investigators, like, put all the good footage on a Dropbox? And…

BF: Yeah! Yeah! We’re working on it. So one thing that we’re looking to release in the next, gosh, I don’t know. My hope is by the time the series finale occurs next Tuesday, we hope to launch a web portal, that I’ve been investing in, that will actually allow for more peer review and the release of some of these other videos and anomalies, the analysis that has been conducted. I really want to take a very collaborative, transparent approach to what we are experiencing on the property, what we’re recording. And I think having a more inclusive, collaborative approach with the community will hopefully help us get to the bottom of what really is at work at Skinwalker Ranch.

MW: I think you will, at the very least, be able to exclude some things because we’ll be able to identify some things as aircraft or whatever. This is something that I think it’s happened before with various other UFO investigations, where people have kept the data for themselves and analyzed it and then when it’s eventually released to the broader audience, it can be like analyzed and people actually do figure out what it was even though the investigators couldn’t figure it out. Just because they happen to have some domain-specific knowledge like in a very narrow domain that the investigators might not have.

BF: Yeah, the great challenge with this effort is being able to separate the signal from the noise. And I think having more eyes, more experts, more opinions, frankly, that can weigh in and bring different perspectives and skill sets to the table, will hopefully help us yield better results. I’ve always believed in really employing a multidisciplinary approach to the problem set at the ranch. I don’t think you can just simply bring on an astrophysicist or a plasma physicist, if you will, to be able to render an opinion relative to what is being seen. I think you need to bring people from a number of various disciplines and I think having some non-scientists as well, having some fresh eyes that that may not employ the same approach, can help probably answer some of the questions or at least open discussions that will lead to truly understanding what is happening. But I really wanted to get to the bottom of the truth. And I’m hopeful that what we’re doing right now will help us bring that forward.

MW: Yeah, yeah. You mentioned earlier about getting the investigator to bring his phone to you so you can get the the raw footage with the metadata. And if you do release data, I think it’s really important to make sure you release like all of the contextual data around that and the original footage and the original RAW files, if possible. And it can get kind of big, but you know, data space is cheap nowadays. You know, I would download a one gigabyte video file if it meant I would get a better version of that so I could analyze it a bit better. So please. if you’re going to upload that…there’s a bunch of people like on Metabunk, my website, who just like doing this type of thing. We like looking at videos and photos and trying to figure out what’s actually on the video or the photo series. Is it a plane, is it’s a bird, is it an alien spaceship? Is it an Army secret drone? Whatever it is, you want to find out what it is. And of course, like a lot of the time, it ends up being fairly mundane, but sometimes we can’t figure out what it is. So, yeah, it would be good to use that resource, not just Metabunk, but you know, everybody on Twitter and Facebook and Reddit, who are interested in that type of thing as well.

BF: Yeah, I wanted to bring kind of a whole new approach to these topics. And you see this, I mean, I’ve really worked hard to be as transparent, as candid as I can relative to the nature of our investigation, our motivations, and really, what we’re trying to accomplish here at Skinwalker Ranch. I believe that this could very well be a living laboratory of sorts. It sure appears to be that way, based on the diversity of phenomena that continues to be recorded on the property. I mean, when you bring together data that confirms everything from the electromagnetic anomalies, to the acute medical episodes that seem to accompany these electromagnetic events and then you have photographic or video-graphic evidence that also can accompany that, coupled with witness testimony, you know, multiple witnesses – so you’re not just taking one person’s word for it, you have multiple parties that are attesting to what is being observed – I think it gets interesting. And that’s what I did not expect, relative to the ranch. I didn’t expect that we would see so much, that we would see such a diversity of activity and events. And you talk about repeating results, being able to properly characterize what is happening. If you’re really going to have a scientific investigation. If you’re really going to use scientific rigor and principles, you have to build boundary conditions around your investigation and be able to repeat your experiments and at least be able to show that there’s truly something at work other than something that is just anomalous that you have to take someone’s word for it.

And one thing that we’ve seen that is consistent is the electromagnetic. The cell phone anomalies…Erik Bard has conducted quite a bit of research into what type of acute medical episodes can accompany extreme electromagnetic, interference or events, even the auditory phenomena that I experienced. I related to you my experience of walking around the back of the old homestead and having this auditory sensation where all the ambient noise was essentially muted. And it truly felt like I stepped into a soundproof chamber of sorts. And it’s interesting. Electromagnetic phenomena at times, and that kind of interference can actually create those kind of reactions biologically.

MW: Let’s talk about the show, The History Channel show. Some of what you said and stuff that is shown on that show. How did that come about? Did they approach you?

BF:  Yes, so good question. You know, within months of acquiring the property, we were assaulted by numerous requests. I kept my identity completely private. In fact, you’d be hard pressed, if I wouldn’t have gone public, there really isn’t anything on the title or in the public domain that would actually tie my identity to the the entity, to Adamantium Real Estate LLC, which is a special purpose entity that I established for owning and operating the ranch. And I really had no interest in opening the property up for a television effort. You know, I was hit up for about a year. It was probably a solid year where I was approached by individuals involved with the History Channel and A&E network that wanted to pitch me on an investigative series of sorts. And after about a year, I finally acquiesced to at least take a meeting and hear what they had in mind at least be able to close that door, close that chapter in a respectful manner. And when we ended up having those discussions initially, which was October, November of 2018. I was intrigued. But it wasn’t until I actually met with Kevin Burns of Prometheus Entertainment, who’s kind of the go to guy, I guess, for these type of programs on The History Channel. You know, when Kevin Burns flew out with his team to meet with me after a year of people bugging the hell out of me, through my managers and through intermediaries, I finally said, “You know, I’m willing to take a meeting, I’m willing to have a discussion.

And when I sat down with the group representing The History Channel, and in pitching me on this, I shared my motivation, my story. But I said, “Look, I’m not interested in any type of effort that would involve fabricating or faking…anything that would be contrived. I’ve seen enough of these stupid programs of people tripping over themselves in the dark with night vision goggles, and I didn’t want this effort and really the nature of our investigation, reduced to that type of program. And I told him, I said, “Look, if we were to engage, I have a number of conditions. Number one, it has to be absolute truth. Everything that you record, everything that is displayed, has to be 100%. true, you can’t fabricate anything. Number two, you’re going to have to use my team. I’m not interested in casting people, bringing in people from the outside that may be front-loaded. Or may have another agenda that may run contrary, that could undermine the integrity of what we’re doing.” And I introduced my team, which includes people that I’ve known my whole life, at least since I was eighteen years old. And I said, “Look, you’re going to have to work with my team in order to preserve the integrity and the authenticity of what we’re doing out there in the basin at Skinwalker Ranch.” Number three, I asked that my identity be kept confidential. I did not want my identity to be revealed. I didn’t want to come out and have any of my professional endeavors be compromised or potentially distracted as a result of my involvement with this ranch and with these efforts. And as we met and we visited, they had no problem granting me my first two conditions but they came back and said, “Look we we do not believe that we can appropriately address the topic of the ranch and really, the team and create a credible, investigative series without your involvement, without you in essence coming out of the closet and being being brave enough to reveal your identity.” And they said, “We really believe that that’s essential to really preserving the integrity of what you’re trying to establish here.”

And so I had to give it a lot of thought and I ultimately, and reluctantly, agreed to participate because I think they they had a point I agreed. I said, “Look, you know, there’s a lot of people out there that have either kept their identities secret or, they have not engaged with the community, they have not been forthcoming or transparent. They have sequestered themselves away from the community and frankly, have not been willing to come forward in a collaborative way. And  don’t blame them. I mean, I can completely understand, especially now, why so many credible people that are interested in these topics, avoid going public with their interest, or really engaging with the public relative to their interests, even those with resources.

MW: So have you got some kind of blowback from your appearances? Has it affected your business dealings at all?

BF: Not yet. So, thankfully, I haven’t, at least that I’m aware of, I haven’t had any negative blowback. But it has been interesting to see all of the the cast of characters involved with the community, with UFOology, all of the enthusiasts. I have to tell you, I think it’s fun to engage with people that share similar interests that are really approaching this sincerely, that are trying to get to the bottom of what is at work with the UFO phenomenon and other related claims. But I think there are a lot of people who also have their own agendas. And I think that, historically speaking, there are a lot of bad actors. I think there are a lot of charlatans, there are a lot of bullshit artists. I don’t know how else to put it. But I think being able to separate fact from fiction, and being able to separate those who have egos or trying to monetize their interest in this, from those that are truly sincerely engaged in really analyzing these topics and really addressing them. I mean, it’s a difficult task. I’ve mentioned earlier, you know, this process is largely a process of trying to separate the signal from the noise. And I think, unfortunately, the majority of what you see out there right now is a lot of noise and it’s difficult to be able to reach in and to be able to pierce that and to extract the real meaningful data and accounts that are legit.

MW: Yeah, it is, it is. There is a lot of noise out there and you specified in your agreement that you wanted to be nothing fabricated in the show. But I’m gonna say there are a few things that we’ve discussed on Twitter that kind of seem to verge on fabrication. Like for example, Episode Four, the High Strangeness, this is the one with the rocket launch and the UFO appearances. There’s a scene there where they see this UFO in the distance and they’re all standing on the deck, outside the ranch house. And they’re all looking up at this UFO. And the weird thing is that none of them have any binoculars. And they go on to say that they couldn’t identify it and they don’t know what it is and it was like, [a] weirdly glowing object. But it seems like if they had binoculars, they would have been to look at it and see that it was, you know, probably just a plane. Scenes like that, they don’t seem like they’re kind of part of a genuine investigation. If people are there thinking that they might see UFOs, surely they would have binoculars. And it’s especially strange because later in Episode Seven, you have another scene where a UFO or something, is spotted…or it’s a helicopter actually, the helicopter scene. And everybody’s there with binoculars. There’s like four different sets of binoculars and one guy with a long, telescope-type thing.

BF: Yeah, I would say the fact that when they were conducting the rocket test, the fact that they didn’t have binocular there, frankly, I think proves that there wasn’t something contrived. They weren’t all at the ready. I don’t believe that anyone was expecting that they’re going to see some silver disc in the sky. I actually think that they were genuinely surprised by that. So I respectfully disagree a bit in that I think that if they really were trying to anticipate or believe that they were going to take something that was occurring in the atmosphere and try to, I don’t know, conjure up some type of…

MW: I wouldn’t say it’s fabricated as such but it just seemed rather odd that, you know, if this is the type of thing that we’re looking out for, they’re gonna launch a rocket, you’d think they wouldn’t want binoculars seeing they’re investigators.

BF: Yeah. From what I understand, the point of the rocket test was not to stimulate UFO activity, it was to test RF, ELF (radio frequencies and extremely low frequencies. ~Joe) It was equipped with sensors and such in order to do that. I don’t think there was an expectation that it would trigger or act as a catalyst for revealing some type of anomalous UFO activity. And so I actually think that what you saw captured there is so typical of so many other UFO sightings where people are like, astonished. They’re not expecting it. And I will say that most of the crew that were there – that witnessed it, were very skeptical – did not believe in the reality of the UFO phenomenon. They were just there to do a job and I think all of those people – and I think there were probably about a dozen people that witnessed those events that occurred over those minutes of filming the rocket exercise – I think they all came away quite surprised by what they saw. And so it is interesting though.

On the helicopter incident, I have to give you really huge credit. In fact, I appreciate your investigative efforts and your due diligence in reaching out and frankly, verifying that there probably is a conventional explanation for that helicopter. The helicopter probably did deviate from its course, to come look over the ranch, but that doesn’t necessarily signify some covert surveillance of the property. And I really appreciated your diligence and really tracking that down. And I think if we see more people like you helping us to be able to identify what may have a conventional explanation, versus something that could be unexplained, will help advance the topic.

MW: Yeah, that was quite a tricky investigation, actually, because there wasn’t any ADSB data there. There was a big gap in the helicopter flying from one side to the other so I couldn’t find it. I had to do a bunch of image searching to try to find out what helicopter it was. I think I appreciate that but I still feel like there’s some kind of unanswered questions about how that was portrayed on that episode. And in particular, you did have everybody looking at it with binoculars. One guy with a gun scope, a quite large, long one. And he really should have been able to see the number on the side of the helicopter. It was it was it was almost visible in the 1080P video that you have there.

BF: Right. And I wasn’t there. But from what I understand from all of the participants, whether it be the angle of the helicopter, or whatever, they couldn’t make out the numbers and, for what it’s worth, they made it into a more dramatic event than it probably was. I mean…that’s one of the challenges with television and with this particular medium is, there is a bit of drama, you have the music, you have the way that the the content is edited, that can sometimes detract from the credibility of the events. Or, to some degree I think, be crafted in such a way to elicit a response. But what we’ve endeavored to do, we’re not showing, like, for instance, we’re not fabricating a helicopter out of thin air. We’re not trying to, for instance, also the UFO sighting that the people had there, simultaneous with the rocket experiment. I mean, we captured what was truly a genuine, authentic reaction from the cast and crew associated with that event, and with the experimentation that was happening.

Same thing holds true, you probably recall the the balloon, where they, you know, the balloon incident. I mean, the gentleman, I can’t remember his name, but the gentleman who they brought out, that deployed the balloon and the instrumentation, was, and I think, still is, truly baffled by the loss of the balloon, by what was recorded, what he observed. And that is what we have tried to do, with probably varying levels of success, is we’ve tried to bring in third-party engineers and experts, whether we’re approaching it, the ground penetrating radar studies or the drone thermography imaging relative to the site, we’re looking into deep ground-penetrating measurement technologies and some of these other experiments in order to understand what is at work here over the ranch. So you don’t have to take our team’s word for it, I think we’ve tried to, under the guidance of kind of the production team and whatnot, bring in other third parties that can hopefully help us advance the discussion.

MW: Yeah. So okay, another thing that seems a little, perhaps sensationalized, for want of a better word is the the electromagnetic radiation readings that you have. Travis Taylor, the scientist doing a lot of looking at his trifield meter. I have a trifield meter, which I got a few weeks ago. They’re fun little devices. I mean, they’re essentially the devices that are sold to people that [are] kind of a bit paranoid about EMF radiation in the homes. And it works fairly well but it only goes up to twenty. So it’s pretty low-level and it goes up to twenty milli watts per meter squared. I’m gonna turn it on and see what I’m at now. And it’s like, the types of numbers that you get on these trifield meters, they kind of go all over the place, depending on how close they are to electrical equipment or to cell phones, things like that. And they can very easily peg out just in a normal situation like in my room here. Now obviously you wouldn’t expect that if you’re out in the middle of the field. I’ve taken this out into the middle of my field out back. I also live on an old ranch, essentially as a housing development that was once a ranch and it reads zero.

BF: Is it haunted?

MW: Not that I know of.

BF: Was it built on a graveyard?

MW: Quite possibly, quite possibly, but only a graveyard of dead cows.

(Fugal laughs).

Mick West, talks TriField meter and his graveyard of dead cows

MW: The trifield meter, it works. You move it close to my Wi Fi router and it will go up to twenty, the maximum. Right next to the microwave, it will go up to twenty. But when you when you see it in the show, you basically don’t see that much difference to do what I’m showing you here. Like it pops up around to the low numbers like five to ten, something like that, and it oscillates a lot. And especially if it’s near a phone. And in all of the situations that you show Travis getting excited, and he was waving it around and it’s coming from here and it’s coming from there and it’s going crazy. It’s making the little beeping noises. The numbers don’t really seem that unusual to me, especially given the fact that there’s a group of people around, some of them have their cell phones and some of them are not on airplane mode, and you can actually see that in some of the shots. And most of them are wearing wireless microphone packs that are attached to their back and some of them can be fairly high powered. I think 250 milliwatts power of transmission. So what you’re seeing in the show doesn’t look like unusual levels of RF. And would you agree with that? Or do you think that is was unusual? Or was there like other sets of readings on other equipment that…

BF: Good question. Good question and good observation. I’d say, let me make a blanket statement and in both Dr. Taylor and Dr. Segala’s defense, what we’re seeing translated on the television program is a number of quick edits, coupled with audio and the video capturing their reactions and the events that were unfolding. And so, I think there are times when whatever the cameramen are recording on the handheld devices may not directly correlate with with some of the statements in the moment that are being made by the scientists. And so, to a degree, I think there is a little bit of a challenge with the editing process, again, when you’re trying to approach an endeavor like this and to present a cohesive narrative that really accounts for what is happening. All that said, is kind of a preface to my next statement. I’m not as familiar, I don’t present myself as an expert on these devices and I’m probably not qualified to really, unfortunately, speak to some of your concerns.

The only thing I can say – and this will sound like such a cop out. I know you’re going to chuckle – is that I have three scientists standing there, especially. I have two gentlemen with PhDs in physics that have worked with all sorts of electronics, that are very well acquainted with what could be affecting the sensors at different times that is conventional. And when I have two individuals, one who has two PhDs and three master’s degrees, and then I have another one, who has a PhD and masters as well in topics that frankly, approach the instrumentation and the physics underpinning how these work, I have to defer to them. And what their assessment is in the moment. And I don’t believe….I met Dr. Taylor, in conjunction with engaging with the History Channel. He was the one party that they requested would be a potential scientist to bring on to challenge the team and to bring another set of eyes. And I was excited to bring him into the family, if you will. But you know, Dr. Segala, I’ve had years of interaction with him and he has always struck me as someone who employs the scientific method and is quite measured and sober in his approach to really analyzing the data. So, that’s a really long winded way of me saying, I don’t really know how to address specific questions you may have relative to images flashing on the screen. And you know, what is being observed and being able to, again, parse that which may be associated with interference as a result of the wireless devices that are employed with the recording and that which is not.

Again, I don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to take the easy way out or trying to kick the can down the road, if you will, or trying to pass it off to someone else. But I think that’s something that we need to look into more closely. And frankly, I think we’re going to be able to address that topic, I think a little bit more effectively in a Season Two, in further treatments. Yeah, one thing that I’m encouraged by is it appears that we’re going to begin filming in short order another 10 episodes and really launching into a Season Two that will hopefully be able to address some of these topics with a little bit more diligence and hopefully, I think resolve some of the concerns that have been been brought forward. Good questions.

MW: Yeah, and I don’t want to harp on the trifield meter too much but it does feature very strongly in the show. And like you say, like your scientists aren’t generally the ones waving it around. It’s usually Dr. Taylor. And it’s not just him showing it’s flashing some numbers and then being suspicious. He does actually talk about those numbers as well. I think in the last episode, or perhaps the previous one, he says like, yeah, this is like fourteen or something like that. And he says like, if I held this outside of a microwave, it would be around two or three. And so fourteen is like being inside the microwave, which is, you know, perhaps the most nonsensical description of the levels you could possibly imagine when you first start. If I hold this outside my microwave, it actually will peg out at twenty. If you move it a bit further away, it will go down to fourteen. And so, suggesting that it’s like the inside of a microwave, where the levels are literally, let me, off the top of my head, are like 50,000 times higher for 1000 watt microwave…50,000 times higher than what he was suggesting, as being the inside of a microwave, just doesn’t make any sense. And it’s just strikes me as something being played for drama rather than actual science.

BF: Yeah. And all I can say is…Dr. Taylor’s credentials speak for themselves. Dr. Segala, his background, his credentials and whether they were, whether some of the edits had some of the data lost in translation. I’m not sure. I appreciate your criticism and your concern relative to what is shown in some of the claims and what was depicted. And I don’t really have a satisfactory answer for you, other than to say that I think we have some highly competent people there making statements. And I would be very surprised if they were just making stuff up or that they would go on camera, misrepresenting the nature of the data or the readings, just for the sake of television.

MW: Yeah, I think he, perhaps, charitably, is just being a bit overexcited about things and saying what came off the top of his head. Because obviously, he is a scientist, and he would know that he wasn’t inside a microwave at that point. So he was just going through a dramatic interpretation of what was going on.

BF: Yeah, I don’t have specific training in these areas. I don’t have a Ph.D., let alone multiple PhDs addressing scientific topics and instrumentation. And I have to rely on people to hopefully give me proper analysis and advise me, appropriately. And, if anything, I think what this television effort has taught me is to be more prepared for questions. I will admit, I mean, let me confess, I was not prepared for a lot of the questions that would come forward. Just simply because, A, I’m busy, I’ve got a lot of other…this television show and this ranch really constitutes a very, very, very small part of my life and it’s not a part of my day to day conventional activities that have consumed my life and career over the course the last 25 years. But also, I’m going through a learning experience as well.

And, you know, I’d mentioned earlier at the beginning of our podcast, this is really an evolution of really bringing online the instrumentation, bringing the type of experts. It’s a process, not an event, We haven’t had some seminal event where all of a sudden, we flip a switch, and then all of a sudden we have perfect data that is crystal clear and the right type of instrumentation. I hope to get there. So my intention is to hopefully make those improvements as we progress in service to really understanding what we’re seeing and frankly, to be able to give people like you an opportunity to collaborate and to weigh in on what we have recorded. I actually love that you took the time to even identify that we, with some of those images that we flashed on the documentary, for example, that we did have metadata that accompanied those pictures. I mean, I’ve tried to make sure that we’re credible, that we’re having integrity with this investigation.

MW: Yeah, I certainly appreciate that. And so one last little quibble I have with the show, is The Fly (Fugal laughs), the dark UFO over the dead cow. From my looking at it, it looks just like other videos of flies flying by. It’s a dark, black blurry thing and it’s in about the right spot at the right time and the right size and speed and everything. So that featured fairly heavily and it seems like it might feature in the next episode. Is there more data?

BF: You bet it will. You know, all I can say is there are many people that have differing opinions. Again, those that were there, the scientists that have analyzed the footage, all of the events. And again, going back to correlation does not necessarily mean causation but it does make for some very interesting discussion and frankly, it helps us, I think, focus a lot of our efforts a little bit better when we see correlating events. I think, when it comes to your analysis, I haven’t, to be honest, had a chance to even sit down with the team to review the footage in a disciplined manner in order to ask how did we come to these conclusions nine months ago. Now, I think that’s what is somewhat lost in translation with a program like this is these incidents were recorded last summer. And a lot of the data, the footage, a lot of the analysis that you see projected on screen, those conclusions were reached quite a while ago and so we haven’t, frankly gone back and revisited these things.

And you know, up until now, we haven’t really established a portal or a forum to be able to engage peer review and to, I think, provide some further analysis that delves into some of these claims and these events and I think that’s what we hope to hope to achieve. It’s coincidental, but I would think that the period of time in between Season One’s finale and a Season Two air date, you know, hopefully, not only will we have our web portal, and our website that will go live to allow for some of these discussions to continue. But hopefully, you know, we may be able to further discuss and unwrap the mystery involved with some of these claims before the next episodes air.

I will say that the team is mobilized right now out in the basin. And just this morning, I was receiving updates from Erik Bard, from Thomas Winterton, from the command center where they’re installing new instrumentation. We have a new, significantly updated computer system that we’ve been putting into place that will assist as well as [have] a better backup battery system. I mean, one of the things that continues to frustrate me and the team is is really how the equipment just continues to have challenges. I mean equipment malfunctions have been normal…

MW: It’s a repeatable thing there, though, isn’t it? You’re looking for something that’s repeatable, and you got cell phones going wrong all the time.

BF: All the time.

MW: Maybe you should just buy like 100 iPhones, and arrange them in a grid somewhere and study what’s going on with these iPhones.

BF: I would love to do that. In fact, I think having a daisy chain of computers out at homestead two, and having them put together and see if there’s some type of reaction or some type of anomalous activity that can be recorded associated with that effort, would be interesting. And there is repeatability when it comes to the equipment malfunctions, A number of people online have asked a very good question. They said,, “Well, if your equipment is malfunctioning so often, if you’re seeing battery depletion, and all of these things, how are you able to capture these beautiful, sweeping drone, aerial shots and you’re able to record these events in action?” And I think it’s important to note that a lot of the drone footage and whatnot, it may be recorded fifteen minutes before, after, again through the editing process. They’re trying to splice together a cohesive narrative that that will hopefully depict what is happening, I think in a good manner that the audience can follow to a degree. I mean, we’ve had so many drones go down. We’ve had so many cameras that have ended up malfunctioning. I mean, we had a whole sequence where we had ground-penetrating radar studies conducted up on the mesa and all of the footage associated with that study ended up disappearing off of the digital drives. I’m not trying to assign some alien cause to it. But it is interesting. And, again, what it does, is it drives us to further investigate that, go back and try to repeat that study and to try to get to the bottom of what really is at work.

MW: Well, I’m looking forward to the final episode next week and the next season and next year I guess it would come out. Yeah, yeah, it should be interesting.

BF: It’ll be it will be interesting. I really appreciate your interest in this topic and I appreciate all those online that that have added their enthusiasm. It’s fun to see discussion erupt around these topics and I think that’s one of the reasons why I agreed to his investigative series and this television program. I felt like this was an opportunity to give people the chance to see the property, to actually accompany the team and I think we’re missing that in this field of inquiry, How long have you been at this? How long have you been investigating claims of this nature?

MW: Over sixteen years now, I think.

BF: Okay, so in all of your years, have you seen anything of this magnitude brought forward in a public fashion, as transparently.

MW: No, I mean, it’s certainly, in terms of like supernatural-type things, I suppose the only thing you could compare it to is the recent UFO video releases which got a lot of attention. But there you didn’t really have the degree of openness that you have. What you have here is kind of a strange blend, though. On the one hand, you’re very accessible and that you talk to people and you’re talking to me now. But on the other hand, we’re seeing things through the lens of this show, which does appear to be very sensationalized and sometimes, kind of formulating a narrative at the expense of the actual, you know, what actually went on. So, yeah, look, it’s great to have all this openness, but it’s also a double-edged sword there because you’re presenting a lot of stuff, which makes me more skeptical rather than the less skeptical.

BF: Yeah, it’s a little bit of a no win situation though. What is the perfect medium for really engaging public interest, stimulating discussion?,

MW: For me, it would be Dropbox. (Fugal laughs) You could just two terabytes of data on Dropbox and point me to the ones that you think are the most interesting and I’ll have a look at them.

BF:  For you, yes! But you’re the anomaly. I think as far as the general public is concerned and whatnot and trying to…and again, trying to establish the right type of vehicle for disseminating information relative to these topics and the ranch, it’s a challenge. And I’ve admitted that online. I mean, that has been part of the learning process that I’ve been going through over the course of the last year, especially the last two months as this program has aired. It’s very challenging when you’re…on one hand, you’re trying to convince people like you, that are looking at it from a skeptical, purely data-driven and scientific-driven perspective, trying to make sure that we appropriately address your concerns and that, frankly, that that which is presented is supported by the right type of data and media that would pass muster. That would frankly, I think, resolve your concerns, yet still be balanced with the, I guess what you would call the entertainment value or the other functions that we’re trying to…let’s call it educational.

West has a dry sense of humor but he DOES smile occasionally

MW: Yes, History Channel needs to make some money out of that show so they need a certain degree of entertainment factor.

BF: Sure. And you know what I would probably encourage, I’d encourage you to keep this in mind and others that are tuning into this podcast. Have fun with it. You know, at times, we can take ourselves too seriously, sometimes. I’m not saying that we should ever be cavalier when we’re addressing such bold claims and topics. But I think, at times, people need to have fun with it and understand that is, it’s not perfect, especially when you’re dealing with television. Oh my goodness. It is not a…sorry my battery was going dead there for a minute. It’s not necessarily a perfect medium for introducing scientific topics to the public. I mean, Carl Sagan did a masterful job with Cosmos. And I’ll be the first to admit that this ain’t Cosmos.

“I’ll be the first to admit, this ain’t Cosmos.”

This is an adventure. And hey, I want it to be fun. I want it to be fun for people and of course I want this to be this to be interesting and we hope that people follow our journey and that they’re similarly inspired and that their imaginations and that their interest is captured through all of this.

I’m looking forward to continuing the journey with everyone. This is my journey. So, you know, I started off on this path over four years ago, truly as a skeptic. You’ve seen, I wasn’t someone who was in the domain. I wasn’t participating in the UFO community in any way. And wasn’t engaging people relative to these topics. And I surprisingly ended up being swept up in this effort as a result of my own my own experience with other witnesses. And if I wouldn’t have had multiple witnesses with me on that fateful day and those events…you know, that fateful day of events that I related to you earlier on this podcast…if I wouldn’t have had those witnesses with me, coupled with all of the other events that occurred, that were unusual, I don’t know that, in retrospect, it would be very easy to dismiss those things as well. Maybe I’d somehow tricked myself into thinking that I was seeing something. But it’s very difficult to trick, for a whole host of witnesses, from different backgrounds that are not part of the same fraternity, if you will, to all weigh in on it and have the exact same experience and those to be coupled with all of these other events.

So, I really appreciate your invitation to come on, I’ll restate my invitation that you’re welcome to come out to the ranch and accompany Dragon on his patrol of the ranch if you wish, in the future. I probably should say this, since this is in a public forum and you’re going to be publishing this, which is the idea, because this is an active, scientific investigation and we’re trying to to maintain certain protocols and security and maintain the integrity of that investigation, which is ongoing, we really don’t have the ability to open this up to the public. I do not have any intention…I haven’t zero intention of ever opening this up to the public for tours, making some type of tourist attraction out of it. For one, I truly believe that there’s danger. You know, people have been hurt. We’ve had a number of people that have, unfortunately ended up in the hospital with unexplained illnesses, I believe, as a result of some of the activities and their engagement on the ranch. And we take that very seriously. And that’s a part of our investigation. We’re trying to get to the bottom of what is really at work, to answer some of those questions. So, anyhow, thank you.

MW: Thank you very much for sharing your story and your experiences and what you’re going to do in the future. And I look forward to seeing what happens in the future. So thank you very much.

BF: You’re welcome and thank you for the dialogue. It’s great.

MW: Okay. And you have a good weekend.

BF: Hey, you, too. Enjoy and stay in touch. Feel free…I look forward to continuing our dialogue in the future.

MW: Indeed. Okay. Thank you a lot.

BF: Thank you. Take care.

MW: Bye.

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